How I Learned to Love the Criminal Life

Vector-ThiefThis is a snoozer. Let me say that up front. I try in almost all cases to keep these posts fresh and snappy as well as informative. This is pretty much just the latter. If it helps you in some way, that’s extra good. But mostly it’s just to establish a public record and illustrate just how insane bureaucracy gets.

Once upon a time the ACA was passed. Let’s make this clear. I adore the President. I totally get why he pursued the formation of what we fondly call Obamacare. Facing Congress and its known excesses of idiots, he figured that a health care plan that they had originally put forth as the alternative to Bill/Hillary care would garner a fair number of Republican adherents and grease the skids for an easy passage.

We know that that did not happen. What follows is somewhat critical of the Act, but I am very grateful at the same time. I believe health care is the right of all human beings.

That said, here’s what happened to me.

I applied, ran into the usual snafu’s at the beginning and was left with not being “verified”. I waited several weeks and tried again only to find that the validating company no longer had my “ticket” and I could not proceed with my application. By phone I was able to do so and I don’t fault the workers who manned those lines to assist people through the process. Mine came up “may be eligible for Medicaid”. Even though common sense told me I was not eligible, I was forced to go through that process.

I went to a “facilitator” here locally in Las Cruces. She insisted that the Medicaid New Mexico laundry list of financial questions were “inappropriate” and that all that was required was how much my income was, meaning our combined social security checks. Even though I protested, she insisted and filed an application on my behalf.

Weeks later I and my husband received Medicaid cards and a stilted letter than required a phone call to confirm that we both were given Medicaid coverage. My husband bailed on that, since he is covered by the VA. I went about life, an ensured person, seeing my doctor and filling prescriptions amazed at the wonders of health care.

Until about three months went by. We received another letter from Medicaid NM, just as cryptic, requiring yet another phone call, all to confirm that my coverage had been cancelled. No explanation was ever forthcoming other than “somebody had approved your application by mistake”. They saw no reason to explain further.

I placed a call immediately to the Federal exchanges where after numerous apologies for the bonehead play by New Mexico they assured me that the for me, the exchanges were still open (even though it was July) since my original application would be marked as “still open”. They graciously completed my application, told me of my subsidy, and went through the various plans until I decided on one.

I contacted my new insurer, paid the premium and happily my doctor accepted them and life again returned to normal.

Starting in about October I started receiving solicitations from a dozen or more insurance companies for supplemental insurance to Medicare. I was advised that I needed one for sure. Before I could even contact Medicare to see about the process of applying (I would turn 65 in April of 2015), I got official stuff from Medicare.

What a delight I thought. I was “automatically” enrolled in Part A and Part B. It was up to me to decide whether I wanted any supplemental coverage. There was reference to a Part D Medicare for prescriptions I could buy but no mention of cost, other than it would cost something more.

I soon received more official stuff from Social Security, as it related to Medicare. I was told I “might be eligible for extra help in paying for prescriptions”. It had to do with being “low-income” and receiving other “supplemental assistance” of various kinds.

I immediately smelled a rat.

Sure enough an application was forthcoming wherein there was a the laundry list of financial questions that I knew would kick me out. How much do you have in savings and checking? List your investments. What is your mortgage? At the bottom of the form was something to the effect of “I don’t want to apply for Federal “extra help” but send my application to the state for consideration”.

There were no other choices. I sent the form back without filling out ANY of the financial information to conform to the requirement. I assumed that New Mexico would look me up, see that my Medicaid had been cancelled for “ineligibility” and then I could get on to the business of choosing a Part D provider.

Not so.

I received some weeks later, a letter FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (DEPT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, from Maryland) advising me that I had been granted extra help and that I could choose from eight or so carriers. If I chose none, one would be assigned to me.

My frustration started to really grow at that point. I did nothing. A carrier was assigned to me, and I received a lovely packet of information from my new insurance provider and a shiny plastic card to show my pharmacist.

I put off the phone calls that I knew were necessary, and finally steeled myself to that event yesterday. I gathered all the various pieces of information, made sure I had all the identifying documents at hand, and called Medicare.

I explained that I had been given “extra help” for Part D coverage, and that I was, in my opinion not entitled to. I was even over the cut off based on my social security alone, without adding in our savings and investment portfolio. I was advised that New Mexico had granted the “extra help” and that Medicare couldn’t remove it. I was given the number to NM Medicare, which is not really Medicare at all, but Medicaid.

That call resulted in being told that “they had nothing to do with it at all, and I must deal with Medicare.

I called back Medicare.

Same result.

I called back Medicaid NM. Same answer.

I called back Medicare. Same answer

I called back Medicaid NM. This time they told me I needed to call NM Health and Human Services.

I did. Their menu had nothing about Medicare at all as far as I could see.

I called Social Security, “extra help” division. They gave me a history lesson in Medicare/Medicaid, and after assuring me they would help, told me that the document I had entitled Health and Human Services, from Maryland (denoting the US govt) was from New Mexico. I was advised to call NM HHS.

I called NM HHS. They actually looked up my old file, which is still current because at the age of 64, I still am able to receive family planning care at the state’s expense. If I’m ever declared as having a post-menopausal pregnancy, I’ll be the first to tell them and the world. She informed me that NOBODY there deals with anything like “extra help” nor Medicare. We didn’t do it she insisted.

I got in the car, drove to the Social Security Office. I explained my situation. “They are trying to give me extra help based on a mistaken belief that I am too poor to be required to pay,” I explained. They will come to correct that in a few months, and that might leave me without coverage, and my prescriptions are expensive. I am trying to clear up the problem now.”

He looked at me like I had landed from Mars. “So, he said, “you are getting Part D coverage but you don’t want it?”

“NO! It’s not that I don’t want it. I would love to have it. It’s just that I don’t think I qualify for it, and I don’t want to be stuck with no coverage when they inevitably figure that out. NOBODY will acknowledge that they gave it to me, so I can’t even discuss the qualifications with anybody. If by some miracle I am entitled, I’m happy to have it. But I can’t find that out until somebody admits they granted it. Somebody put an “approved” stamp on this. I’m trying to find that person/entity.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

He made a phone call. He called the new insurance carrier and said, “she is covered by you, but doesn’t want it.”

I demanded the phone.

I gave her the information, “my insurance number”.

She looked up the file. She said, “there was a cross over from your Medicaid coverage directly here.”

“But my Medicaid coverage was cancelled.”

“I understand what you are saying, but they did it anyway.”

“Who is they?”

“It does not say. It appears that your status as having Medicaid caused a cross over.”

“But everybody denies they did it.”

“Ma’am I do understand. I can cancel it if you wish, but that may open a can of worms for you in trying to replace it. There is on its face no justification for refusing it, and so they might not give you other discounts. I really can’t say. I’d just advise you to leave it be.”

I looked at the Social Security guy across the table from me.

“I give up.”

“I’ve called everyone, talked to everyone. No one will admit they approved my being placed on this plan, so I can’t even ask the question of on what basis I’m entitled. I was here. Note that in my file. I’m done.” He smirked as if he had won the battle on that one.

Here I stand, beaten.  I thought I was being an honorable and honest person. The system does not reward honesty, it laughs at it. This stands as a testament should I ever be called to answer for my crime of trying to do the right thing.

Please tell me you have run into equally stupid bureaucratic bullshit?

 

I AM My Sister’s Keeper

womengloriousAs with so much with me, a number of widely disparate notions traverse my synaptic receptors before it dawns on me–the greater issue–that is.

Thus it starts with the insanely stupid Hobby Lobby decision, brought to us by five Catholic men who have probably long-since stopped depositing seed in the fertile womb of any woman married to or otherwise.

A perusal of but a few of the rags that pass for “right-wing” blather turns up gems such as “you want to have your fun and make me pay for it”, “keep your legs together or pay for it yourself”, or this upside-down logic, “if you can’t afford contraception, you can’t afford to have a baby anyway!”

Hey there brain-dead XY’er, umm, it seems that you fundamentally misunderstand some rather basic stuff. One,  if women are using contraception to “have fun” well guess who they are having fun with? Second, contraception coverage under an insurance plan is not a “gift”, it is a benefit owed to the employee in lieu of a bigger paycheck. Taxpayers have nothing to do with it bozo. Third, umm, under this theory why are you still getting your I-can’t-get-it-up-without-ya Viagra in your insurance plan? If you want to have fun, pay for it? And fourth, uh, contraception is the way you avoid a pregnancy you cannot afford stupid.

I am post-menopausal, yet this fight is my fight. For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

Some many years ago, when I still worked for a living, I had a work colleague. “B” as we shall call him was an African-American male and law schooled at U of M. “B” was inordinately proud of his U of M alumni status and wore a lapel pin announcing his alumni status virtually every day.

One day, “B” wandered into the law library (which contained a lunch room at one end) where a number of us (mostly women, Black and white) were discussing affirmative action and how we all were grateful for the opportunities it had given us as both women and women of color to advance in various professions. Added to that were the men and women before us who had labored on our behalf to ensure that we as young women had more opportunities than their generation.

“B” was asked if he too were grateful for the boost given him in his pursuit of a better life. He exploded in a vehement denial of being such a recipient. He got where he was, “by his own talents and abilities” and was beholden to no one for his success. We all were shocked, attempted to argue with him, but B left the room quickly in disgust at our suggestion.

I am retired and no longer work. Yet this fight to level the playing field is my fight.  For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

A friend just a day ago, talked about how she and her family had needed food stamps and other forms of public assistance to get by for a time in the past. All who know her, know she is a hard-working mom, a dedicated wife, a thoroughly responsible person. She puts a face on all “those” people that the Right so snidely likes to look down upon as “takers” and as developing a culture of expectation that the government will take care of them. She belies that picture assuredly.

I can echo that story by one of about my housekeeper who is struggling, working from sun-up to sun-down to raise six children all the while in the midst of a divorce from their father who continues to refuse to pay one penny toward their care as a way to punish her for putting him out for his drinking, drugging, and abusive ways. She receives what aid she can from where she can, and we struggle to find better ways to help her.

I am not receiving assistance, and if all goes as it seems to be, I never shall. But this fight is my fight. For I am a woman. For I am a human being.

How does this all tie together?

Only in one respect. Read Matthew 25.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40i And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41* j Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42k For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44* Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

There are many who say that we are genetically wired to care about each other. Certainly humans are not meant to be alone like the cheetah or polar bear. We have found camaraderie and safety in numbers. We have sacrificed some independence, some freedom for the protection of those numbers. Somewhere in that movement from tribe to village to town and city, we have learned to care about the needs of others, not just ourselves. Beyond our concerns for the progeny we bear, we care for the old, and for the disabled.

Recently remains of a Down’s Syndrome child was found among early human burial remains. The skeleton suggests that rather than kill or expose these disabled babies, they were cared for until their natural death. Similarly we find the remains of elderly who certainly could not have survived without help from others.

From this we learn that the desire to care for each other is ancient. We seek to serve each other,  either by genetics or at the very least by the call of the most perfect prophet the world has known–Jesus Christ.

Unlike our Right-wing evangelicals who twist scripture to reflect a Jesus who counsels against government assistance, eschews the minimum wage, and Paul who taken out of context tells us that those who will not work will not eat, we respond to what is in our hearts and/or in our DNA, called to reflect that what we do to others we inevitably do to ourselves.

When I hear the voices of hate-bearing sanctimonious condemnation, when I listen to their explanation that we are “coddling” and “creating a dependence culture”, I am not sure what comes first to me, the tears of grief that people can drape themselves in the flag while waving the bible in order to hide from the world their true self-centered motives, distorting Christ and his sermon of empathy and love, or the flashes of red-hot anger that wish to explode in slapping such people across the face as hard as I can, watching the self-satisfied holier-than-thou smugness fade as the cheek brightens into a red imprint.

We do what is right because it is right, quite simply. Women as poor as they may be deserve as good health care as the CEO of GM. Everybody gets to where they are in life due to the helping hands of untold dozens if not tens of dozens, and lack of means is no definition of worthiness or lack of it. Dr. Ben Carson has become the darling of the Right with his claims that government assistance to the poor, is akin in some measure to a return to slavery. Well Dr. Carson was the recipient of plenty of that assistance as a child and young adult, and that assistance gave him the opportunity to study hard and do all the things he had to do to achieve great success. He did not do it alone and he would be the first to be offended had his mother or he been treated as something less than the kids who grew up in better circumstances.  How soon we forget from whence we have come.

How soon we fall victim to our own greed for the “good life” and turn our backs on all those who are left behind. How soon we forget that but for the “grace of God, go I”. How soon we twist self-righteous religiosity into some sort of club with which to bludgeon all those who don’t do as we say, while we do as we wish, crying out to God when caught, that we too are sinners, but somehow still not sinners like those awful others. 

So we will gladly pay a little more if it means that everyone has a decent minimum. Everyone should have a home, clothing, medical care, quality education, and a job at a fair and living wage. We will do it because we don’t see the world as them and us, but as we.  It is the human thing to do quite simply. And you will never dissuade us otherwise, though you may win a battle here and there. You will not win in the end, because

WE ARE BETTER THAN YOU ENVISION US AND YOU TO BE.

 

 

Wish I’d Said That Thursday

I truly wish I had said it.

Reblogged from BrainSpank

 

I am a woman. I gave birth. It was painful.  Excruciating.  Agony.  No one knows.  I do.

My child knows no one other purview until it gulps air outside of me. Until it leaves my womb it belongs to me and no one else. No other body, governmental or even judicial matters at all to me.

Not as far as I’m concerned anyway.

I really don’t care what you have to say.

I cannot stand five catholic men in black robes who would decide anything for me or the child in my body.  I loathe you for trying.  Your ignorance.  Your arrogance.  Your hubris.  When the day comes I want to relinquish control of my life, my child’s life, to the likes of you, I’ll let you know.  It will have a big fancy seal.  It will be on parchment.  Sheepskin.  You’ll know.  Champagne and caviar.

Until then, shut the fuck up.

We all know you think it’s your religious privilege.  We all know you think you’re somehow entitled to a voice here.  A heavy legislative hand.  A right.  But you are wrong.  You don’t.  You can’t.  You won’t.  You can’t tell me what contraception to use anymore than you can tell me what to do with my womb.  My body.  You stand there, collecting your filthy lucre from the dirtier angels of our filthiest nature and presume to define sin for me.

Fuck you.

You took a stand on the side of a company that wears its hypocrisy on its goddamn face.  They invest in and make money off of the manufacture of contraceptive products.  They willingly paid for the objectionable products for their employees for years.  Decades.  What changed besides Obamacare?  They say their mission is to prevent abortion but the only net gain from this will be more abortion.

By the way, they say the contraceptive products the won’t pay for kill babies.  Wrong.  Completely wrong.  What they do is prevent fertilization.  No beings.  No babies.  How did we get to a place where the Supreme Court is guilty of science denial while listening to and valuing the opinions of clerics and wizards?

Five Roman Catholic men who wear black robes to work.

In this process you would willingly consign me to a coat hanger.

I am a man and I do not accept this jurisprudence.  It is the antithesis of jurisprudence.

But I am a woman too.

It’s like your whole reason is to make sure it’s born.

After that, it’s nobodies business but mine.  Ironic how you grab responsibility before it’s born and surrender it completely the second after.  How do adult white men entertain the notion that they somehow get to champion the fetus and forgo the child?

Jackasses.

They are the last people.

Then, some sonafabitching congressman comes along to make my last stand.

To pretend to speak for me and all the unborn.

I am a woman and I have given birth and if I begin to understand that delivery might mean my death, I get to decide what to do.  If that child will be born inside out?  My problem.  If that child is born with whatever disability?  My problem.

Not yours.

Fuck off.

The same goes for my contraception.  Sometimes it’s to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. 56% of the women in this country that avail themselves of contraceptive medication have it prescribed to them by doctors for reasons other than preventing pregnancy.  Sometimes it’s to prevent my spending days in bed writhing in the kind of pain that makes botulism or ebola look Fischer Price.  Sometimes it’s to reduce my risk of certain cancers.  Viruses.  You don’t know.  You can’t you bastards.  I am a woman and you are not.

I can no longer countenance five greasy old academic males deciding any of this shit.  It’s none of their business.

None at all.

I am a woman.

I would make each of you pregnant tomorrow morning if I could.

Or, I would visit the menstrual cycle upon each of you if I could.

Then we would see who the women are.

That would be awesome.

Bitches.

I am a man speaking for women.

Drinks for my friends.

It Wasn’t THAT Long Ago. . . .

A little history seems in order.

right to vote Okay, so before we start, let’s get this straight. This is not an anti-male diatribe, much as you may think it is. There are damn well plenty of stupid women out there who have drunk the kool-aid and think women’s place is in the home, tending the kitchen, children and pets, in that order. The trouble is, the women who tell you that are ANYTHING BUT stay-at-homers themselves and even if they are, they are writing blogs, books, and preachin’ on social media that YOU should not be like them, but rather like the fantasy women they envision–pampered, protected, cared for, and wiper of runny noses all wearing that crisp peter pan-collared cotton frock and perfectly shined respectable two-inch pumps and pushing the vacuum with a free hand.

Whew. . . .

No this is against paternalism and all its ugly underbelly of psychological signals that tell the female gender that they are all they can be just by primping in front of the mirror and making very sure that that eyeliner is on straight and that lipstick is the latest fashion color of the season.

Ya see, I grew up in that tween place, on the cusp, able to see both shores as it were.

Women got the vote in 1920. My mother was born in ’26, so she grew up having it, though I must say, she pretty much used is as far as I can tell, as her husbands explained to her was right and good. But her mother came into her adulthood without it, my grandmother was born in ’01, so it impacted her most. I knew these women for whom the vote was a “new” thing,  but grew up knowing that voting was no different for me than for any guy I knew.

It was not until the 60’s, during the general period of awakening that lots of minorities were going through, least of all white males who were being conscripted to be the fodder in another war, but one this time that seemed to merit no one’s patriotic fervor, that we women began to learn of our own deeper oppression. We began to learn that it was not okay that our bodies were not our own to control, that we were not by “nature” relegated to certain types of jobs, and paid less in others simply because we were women.

We learned that there was much more to do in this journey to equality.

And we secured our right to control our bodies–in other words–to make mistakes just like men do with theirs.

And we worked hard to break through glass ceilings that prevented us from being fighter pilots, (if that’s what we wanted), neurosurgeons, police officers, firefighters,  and corporate CEO’s. And then we discovered that even when we got the jobs we didn’t get the pay, and we began that fight too.

Always with a certain segment of scared men and the women they controlled telling us that we were going against God, country, and well, nature itself.

womens_rights2Always with those who believed that as we gained our power to control our lives, theirs would somehow be diminished. Sharing is a hard lesson to learn.

They argued of course that women would become “just like men”, or worse, punish men in some Amazonian-driven lust for power themselves.

They argued that we would cry during tense negotiations with a Khrushchev and rain down upon America the nuclear holocaust that permeated the Cold War era.

They called us atheistic feminists and the spittle trickled down their chins, catching and rerouting through grizzled stubble, that they wiped away with grubby fingers still clutching ragged signs with misspelled words echoing their hate: Back to the kitchen you sluts!

But while these battles went on quietly across America with thousands of dedicated women, all the clamor died down, and life didn’t change a whole lot. We figured we were still on the journey, but life as we know it hadn’t stopped, and someday we would reach our goal of full integration and equality in America. Most of us thrived in a world that seemed increasingly equal to us.

And then along came the “IMMORAL MINORITY”  waving their bibles, and explaining to middle-aged white men who had failed in the great American dream to be great achievers, that women were the problem and not corporate greed. Women were and always were the problem ever since that bitch picked that apple off that tree and seduced God’s great creation Adam into sinning. Women were the problem.

And as the rich got richer and the poor got poorer and the great middle started to age and find that damn they weren’t much better off than their parents, some thing had to give. Corporate America became adept at focusing the blame on minorities, takers all. Suddenly, feminism became a dirty word again. Our enemies are mostly aging white men who feel left behind (damn that Rapture, where are you?). The feel and it’s certainly palpable at this point, emasculated by articulate, educated women.

Ask me about it. I belong to a forum of my old high school, and my wars always end up being against these male types (one of which actually said that he ended up calling me names because “I drove him to it.”), and women who believe that women were created to serve me according to their fine uneducated reading of certain pseudo-Pauline texts.  And invariably they block me, so I can read the their comments and they don’t have to respond to mine. Except that there are men on the forum who are just as liberal as I am, just as knowledgeable, and just as “in-your-face”, and they don’t get blocked. Why? Because men can argue with men, but women must be very careful to be properly respectful lest they be branded as “stupid” and “a troll” and “self-defined intellectual”. (I was once told that educated people were “pissants” all, by one tiny-penised patriarchal dope.)

So along comes Hobby Lobby and it’s claim that its corporate religiosity is being assaulted by requiring it “pay” for certain contraceptive methods it in its utter stupidity deems abortifacients, and the Feds have no right to make them offer same to their employees. There is so much wrong here that it’s sick. First, HL provided all these methods before they were picked as the “plaintiff” and then told, “damn, guys, you offer this stuff already!” Hobby Lobby owner Green claims “shit, I have no idea”. Hobby Lobby gets I would guess 80% of its inventory from China, a nation that makes abortion a national policy and until recently required it after one child. Hobby Lobby has a 401K retirement benefits package which includes owning shares of various big pharma companies which, you guessed it, manufacture all the abortifacients that HL moans about.

So the SCROTUS decided that corporate religious well-being trumps women’s rights to good health. Along with that, they decided that there can be no buffer zone between women trying to enter clinics that offer contraceptive care along with abortions and those who want to scream at them demanding that they “think again”.  Women seeking treatment at a PPH clinic must be within “spittin’ distance” of those who seek to turn them away.

Across America, Republican led legislatures make it hard if not impossible for poor women to get reproductive care of any kind by loading down clinics with regulations (aren’t Republicans against business regulation as a matter of principle?) that are so burdensome that they have to close.

And all this in the name of NOT ABORTING. When all of these restrictions do exactly the opposite.

Republicans in Congress vote down equal pay for women.

There is a line.

It has now been crossed.

We will not go back.

Vote in 2014 as if you life depends on it, because control of it is surely at stake.

Womenvote

 

 

 

 

It’s Not Left vs Right, It’s Right vs Wrong

MoralMondayA movement is arising.

It began with Occupy Wall  Street.

It arose with Moral Mondays in North Carolina.

It’s spreading.

Throughout the South.

It’s moving to Wisconsin, and there are murmurings in Missouri.

People are getting tired of being tired.

And it’s not Democrats although no doubt most are. It includes Republicans and Independents and people who have little to do with politics. It includes some business folk, but probably not so many as people who are working stiffs. And poor. Lots of the poor.

And they come to state legislatures and stand in silent witness that these bodies of Republican control are unjust and immoral.

Yes immoral.

Republican extremism known by the name of Tea Party, is an immoral wound in America and people are not going to take it any more.

Let us be clear. Like it or not, believe it or not, (and the extremists are very good at refusing to accept reality), big business (aka Koch brothers) organized and funded the Tea Party movement. Their intentions were not made known of course but their intentions are clear: reduce taxes on the rich, reduce corporate taxes, reduce regulation on business, and continue to subsidize business so we can continue to laud “free market economies” (which of course given all this are not even close to being free, but are protected by government itself) as the best thing on earth.

To the Tea Party they formed, the message went: your taxes are going to takers not makers. You have worked hard and deserve that money yourselves. All you need do is fund the military so we can continue to enforce our will of “right” on the world. We can create the jobs if you just do your part and give us a free hand. That’s what democracy is all about, that is capitalism. It’s the government and its incessant socialistic welfare mentality that is destroying this country.

Now some of the Tea Party are well-educated business types. They are tiny business operations for the most part, but they like to think of themselves as “entrepreneurs” which makes them sound like the Kochs, and Trumps and those kind. But most of the Tea Party consists of not very well-educated white aging men and their overly made up and coiffed wives who like that idea that more money should be in their hands and not going to “those” people. You know “those” people, the ones are required to called “black” now, when in the day it was fine to call them “N*****”? And all those Mexicans, which are still just Mexicans, even though plenty of “them” actually come from Guatemala and Nicaragua and other places called Latin America. And then there are those “Orientals” from the “Orient” since Asian is still not de rigueur in this culture, and it’s all one big country isn’t it? After all, Sarah thought Africa might be a country, right?

Then in the ultimate hypocrisy of all hypocrisies, there in a dose of “Christianity” to hide that racism/downright hatred underneath. “See, it’s not me, it’s God who has a problem with fags!” And if that makes them feel vulnerable, well, throw in a dose of the 2nd Amendment was made for you and me, and voila, we have a mess of a human being filled with self-righteous hate, little actual knowledge of the world, but a gun-defended arrogance to do everything but call it publicly what they call it privately.

But ordinary folks are getting tired. Ordinary decent people who don’t have to wave a bible around to know what is right and what is wrong. And they are tired of watching years of work being undone by barely literate Republican senate and house members who pass insane laws one after another, making it safe and right for white America to live in their fantasy of the “good ole days”.

So people are marching. And more of them march every week.

NAACP ProtestsIN NORTH CAROLINA THE GOP HAS SINCE 2010:

  1. Raised taxes on the lowest 80% of it’s citizens
  2. Removed a tax credit on 900,000 working families
  3. Enforced restrictive voter laws
  4. Blocked increased Medicaid coverage for the poor
  5. Cut Pre-Kindergarten funding
  6. Cut unemployment benefits
  7. Voted itself a right to intervene in abortion lawsuits
  8. Repealed a law that allowed death row inmates to challenge their convictions on racial grounds
  9. Increased the standards at abortion clinics to that of surgical centers and made it illegal to offer abortion coverage if you are a public health insurance company.
  10. Offered no increase in base salary to school teachers even though they are paid at the lowest rate in the country.
  11. Tenure is to be phased out and no salary increases are to be given for master’s degrees. Teachers aides are severely cut.

IN GEORGIA, THE GOP HAS:

  1. Refused to grant increase in Medicaid coverage affecting some 600,000 Georgians and made it a crime to assist someone who is seeking ACA coverage.
  2. Cut more than 7.6 BILLION dollars to public education over the last 10 years.
  3. Restricted workers rights and benefits
  4. Promoted more stand your ground and like gun legislation.
  5. Cut unemployment benefits
  6. Promoting enforcement of voter suppression laws.

When you go nation wide, the results are the same. GOP-led legislatures are doing the Koch’s bidding everywhere, often with bills written by the KOCH legislative arm, ALEC. Everywhere the tune is the same–lower taxes on the rich, cut out programs for the poor, all with the promise to Mr. and Mrs. White OLD people–this will all benefit you, we promise. Just wait for it.

Let me repeat. There is nothing Christian in any of this. People who are TEA PARTY adherents and claim they are Christian are lying. They are at best Christianists, people who use the bible and their own personal interpretation of it to hide behind while they endorse and argue for a denial of health care for the poor (they can use the emergency ward if they need to — duh who pays for that stupid?), a denial public education to the poor (let’s have vouchers, and the poor will end up with the poorest of poor systems but they had their “choice”), a denial of food, unemployment insurance (that breeds dependence and doesn’t teach work ethic–yeah hungry babies are eager to work), a denial of voting rights (everybody can get a voter ID–yeah except for the cost and the travel to a distance center, and oh yeah, lots of people can’t get a birth certificate any more because records are lost, but a gun permit is okay, but  student ID is not), a denial of basic rights to undocumented workers (since they steal our jobs–yeah we were wondering where you were in the bean fields yesterday and even the little one’s can pick can’t they?), a denial of fair wage (business can pay whatever it wants to, that’s the American way–along with child labor, and unsafe working conditions right?), and on and on…

They say all this and have the temerity, the audacity, the chutzpah, to suggest that Jesus would approve! Jesus hated government they say, and Jesus hated the minimum wage. Jesus loved guns and self-defense. Jesus is nothing more than a malleable dummy used while these vile gutless wonders shrink in horror at their own diseased and flesh eaten faces staring out from the dead sockets from which they look upon a world they hate as it slips from their nail-torn fingers.

Lord save me from the Christianists and though I don’t believe in Hell, but God, sometimes I wish there was one, for these puke excuses of humanity.

Other than that, I’m having a great Sunday.

The Quest Continues

python2You’d think that I’d know pretty much all I need to know at my age.

I mean seriously folks, shouldn’t I just sit and chortle at all the younglings’ who are still running into things, unable to fathom that pace of life yet? Shouldn’t I know the BIG issues of life?

Why am I always surprised and puzzled?

Having just finished reading Joseph Campbell’s, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, I should get that we are all just playing out the story of humanity in infinite forms, no? Can’t I leave it at that?

NO, apparently I’m forced to admit at my refined age, that I may be just a tad, just a tiny bit, miniscule actually, ANAL.

Case in point.

Or in several, but in POINT now.

Michael Huckabee, once governor of Arkansas, a state lost between Noah’s ark and Kansas. Now our Huck as he is fondly called by many, was once upon a time (not a fairy tale) a preacher. A southern Baptist one, to be exact, and that means literally, literal, insofar as a fundamentalist can be literal, which is way a lot when they need to and way not all when it would be inconvenient to be so. Which makes him really a Christianist, one of those rather duplicitous individuals who sorta uses Jesus when needed and ignores him when not, although pretending to NEVER forget Jesus, i.e., sprinkling all talk with plenty of “thanks be to God” and Thank the Lord” .

So, Mikey as he is not fondly called, figured he would jump into the fray of the “war on women” being continuously waged by the GOP.

That that is clear to every human being save the GOP itself who continue to remain with head firmly inside butt is also clear.

restrictions2012And the trend has continued as we all know in 2012, 2013 and so on.

It is Republicans who are trying to restrict abortions and are, through phony laws, forcing PPH offices to close all over the country. Women are being denied reproductive care quite simply and that results in more women dying from reproductive disease, and more unwanted pregnancies, the EXACT OPPOSITE of what Republicans claim they are introducing such legislation for.

In pops the Huckster, who is starting to think that running for President might be a good thing, and off he goes with the mouth part:

“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it,. . .”

So, old Mikey thinks that Democrats believe that women’s insatiable libido requires contraceptive care in the guise of Uncle Sugar?

Seriously, explain how he came to that conclusion, or is just simply the way dead-below-the-waist-Mike feels? Is his wife dragging him to bed every night and telling him to Viagra up or something? Is the old man tired of “gettin’ it up” and gettin’ going?

This after some dip wad in Virginia by the name of Black, who is running for Congress, suggests that there should probably be no laws against marital rape.

“How on earth you could validly get a conviction of a husband-wife rape when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth, there’s no injury, there’s no separation or anything.”

Seriously, it’s just a he said, she said kinda thing, right? Boys will be boys. . . .or, I bet he’s the one in the nightie.

Are Republican men this utterly clueless. Is there no Republican woman around who can just tell them to SHUT THE F**K UP?

Explain to me how any person can go to college for four years and become educated sufficiently to teach math, and still denies the truth of evolution?  How does a brain do that?

By all accounts Chris Christie is a reasonably intelligent human being. I have learned that he was darned good at running for stuff in college and in organizing so that his “team” would win across the board in student elections. And we are most aware of his spectacular rise in New Jersey, a definitely blue state.

So, in looking forward to someday running for President, (and surely you know he’s always had that in his mind since he was 12 or so), wouldn’t you sorta know that thugs and others who did your dirty work and the people you intimidated all your life, would literally flood the plains of Jersey should they even SMELL a leak in the dike?

Is it just me or is this just the beginning of an avalanche of charges, and victims parading forth telling their story of how Christie thugs forced them to throw Grandma off the train? The Bridge and Hoboken are just the tip of the iceberg I suspect.

Why do people who don’t play by the rules always think nobody will find out?

Do the really believe in perfect crimes?

Here’s one for ya.

I went to a typical high school. Maybe not so much as I thought.

A whole bunch of us started in kindergarten and graduated together. Over the years, cliques changed. Our group splintered into a good five groups or so. Some of us got hurt by being dumped. Some never aspired to group 1, probably most. We all dissed those below us, more or less. We gave what we got.

I’ve been to college, three times. I’ve worked for people and for myself. I’ve been in a ton of relationships, all of which obviously went sour for one reason or another, due to one thing or other, until the last one, which has lasted nearly 14 years. I’ve been screwed over by the best and worst of them, regarding all sorts of things. In that regard I am no different from any other human.

As my friend Jean said, all humans are flawed. We get to accept that about each other, and how our flaws blend enough to get along.

But, when I reconnected with high school classmates, I found this:

A friendliness that turned out to be all too superficial. Most of the lines remained drawn. A rather stunning realignment based on who agrees with who. Fundies gather together and chat like great friends when way back then, they never spoke and one would not be caught “dead” with the other. All the liberals now, however, were my friends back then. People I thought were smart turned out to be dumb, or as uninformed as a person could be and still walk. A whole slew are angry, very angry people, mostly those who stayed in the factory town that went belly up.  And although raised in a working class environment where the UAW was the norm in most households, most are conservative, hating folks, who blame unions, and the poor for being takers. And kids should be slapped around because “it was good enough for me”. They are “patriotic” as they define it, meaning they love “the troops” and the flag, but hate the President, and income redistribution, although surely they would benefit from that.

And I don’t get most of ’em. A few who were a year or two behind me or ahead, I get. They escaped the hate thing somehow. They are good people, who have worked hard, but avoided blaming those who have less for what they don’t have.

And the real point here, is that, all those people from college and work situations and relationships that didn’t do unto me as I think they should? I have long ago forgotten them and their transgressions because, hey, we are all flawed. But the angers from those old high-school slights still linger and still seem rawer than they should.  And I have a couple of those classmates who don’t participate in group discussions and I think they are  so much smarter than I. They are not wasting their time on stupid.

Which all goes to say that I delight a bit too much in telling old X and Y what utterly stupid people they became. Ain’t that funny? Or sad in a funny sort of way?

The first cut is the deepest. Thank you Rod Stewart for reminding me.

Well, Where Have You Been, Huh?

UglyDog_width_640x-1-1Got your attention didn’t I?

Well where have you been? I been waiting here it seems like forever, and NOBODY showed up. So I thought I might jar you from your lethargy with Buttons here, my friendly pup.

Actually I have just been busy in a fairly good way. Holidays and all. Finally have days utterly to myself. Made enough food yesterday to last until at least Monday. By then, I think we will start to be tired of it all.

Frankly the political scene both disgusts me and bores me. I still keep INFORMED, but I’m just so tired of Republicans being, you know, so Republicanish, which is a nice way to say douchey. Do they ever stop being douche bags? My representative sure doesn’t. Steve Pearce is his unholy name, and he is a douche of the very first order.

A millionaire they tell me, and owned lock, stock and barrel by the TeaDrunkards. I find it amusing to read the GOP playbook (sent around to all the lil man and woman/childs pretencing at actually serving the public). Said playbook is regularly filched/gifted/snuck to various liberal organizations and published for all to see. It consists of phrases (typically called “talking points”) and suggestions of things to do to make the GOP look intelligent and the Democrats to look stupid.

The playbook lately has focused a lot on Obamacare, of which I am thoroughly tired by the by. So, to make a long story not quite as long, old Steve has been busy reading his, and he regales us regularly on Facebook with lists of all those tens of millions who have lost their coverage in New Mexico, followed by a plea to “please send us your stories of misery”. He then reports one or two of these, and dusts his filthy lucre hands off and thinks he’s done his “job.”

Of course he offers these people no help of any sort, and fails to bother suggesting that they go to the exchanges and see what they might be offering. We have no individual exchanges here since our other douche Guv Martinez, didn’t sign the legislation until it was too late to have the time to set them up for October. So we are very douchey here. (Guv Martinez may have some serious problems of her own since her main man on her staff is a Rovish like creature that a number of people have suggested might be leading her into some illegal behaviors )

Anyway, his latest addition to stupid dialogue is to suggest that Domino’s Pizza is paying $15-20 per hour to drivers, but only in “energy selling” states, meaning those states that are pumping oil and frackin’ their way to heaven with gas. Now any student in the first fifteen minutes of undergrad school (pick your subject) knows that one has zero to do with the other on so many grounds that we reach infinity. But what was funny was that a whole bunch of Domino’s drivers chimed in with “hey Steve, you idiot!” Turns out that the $15-20 is an estimate of what drivers CAN make with tips off their base crummy salary, and DOESN’T include the cost of maintenance of their vehicle and GAS. But poor old Steve fairly misses that, since he’s simply following the PLAYBOOK.

I figured after going a few rounds with Steve, that well, I was right in the ball park with this next story. It seems like dinosaurs liked to poop in groups.  In this they are similar to camels and elephants, which means the apple don’t fall far from the tree, I guess. Or not. Evolution is a strange thing.  I’m really pretty sure that Republicans poop in groups too.

Which leads to this: did ya know that some soft tissue from a T. Rex survived 68 million years? It was found in Montana, and I have no idea whether that mattered at all, but factoids are important in Jeopardy, so consider me a coach. I mean under the best conditions it’s only supposed to last a million years. Anyway, the collagen from the beastie resembles that of birds, which must make the people at the Creation Museum go scrambling for an explanation. It all has to do with a lot of biological mumbo jumbo and IRON-rich blood that for some reason known only to a BIOLOGIST, helps preserve the tissue.

Which reminds me of Coach, Craig T. Nelson, who is among the dumber of the Republicans I know of. He hates paying taxes, hates the “welfare” society we now live in, hates Obama for bringing all that to Merika, and so on and so forth. And he’s not going to take it any more, refusing to pay taxes for things he doesn’t believe in. After all, he says, “What happened to society? I go into business, I don’t make it, I go bankrupt. I’ve been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out?. . .” YES YOU IGNORANT FOOL, THE GOVERNMENT HELPED YOU OUT WITH THE FOOD STAMPS AND WELFARE!!!  I mean this is Louis Gohmert stupid.

Louis by the way has been ear-deep in Obama conspiracy theories, claiming that the President is busy via the AHCA in amassing a private army. He’s been at this for some time, and the stories of the government buying up ammunition only goes to support that idea according to the Galloping Gohmert. A portion of the law which allows the training of a group for public health and national emergency response, is to Louis a smoking gun. But he’s a bit unsure of what the weapons of choice will be for this group:

“I’ve continued to ask questions, what is this for?” It says it is for international health crises, but then it doesn’t include the word ‘health’ when it talks about national emergencies. And I’ve asked, what kind of training are they getting? It provides in Obamacare that this commission and non-commissioned officer corps will be trained. But I want to know, are they using weapons to train or are they being taught to use syringes and health care items? But we’ve got no clear answers on that.”

Seems like dear Louis should bring up this subject at the next group poop he has with Cruz and King, and well, all the bare butted GOP’ers at the gathering. Hey, whose poo don’t stink?

Happy leftovers!

Facepalm